DIani Mombasa Kenya 18 oktober 2019 .African woman and man talking while standing on the street near the road in the market life in Kenya DIani Mombasa Kenya 18 oktober 2019 .African woman and man talking while standing on the street near the road in the market life in Kenya

This independent study led by TrustWorks Global was commissioned by the Finance for Peace initiative in 2022 in the context of their broader work on the Peace Finance Impact Framework (PFIF). Entitled, ‘SME Facilities in Fragile and Conflict-affected Settings: Contributing to Peace?’, this study is motivated by a shared awareness of the increasing interest on the part of investors (development partners, impact and commercial investors) in supporting Small and Medium- Sized enterprises (SMEs) as a tool to foster both development and stability in frontier and emerging markets, understood by peace and conflict actors as Fragile and Conflict-affected Settings (FCS).


The study is designed to understand the unique challenges and opportunities faced by those supporting and/or managing SME facilities to contribute to peace and stability. Beyond the common assumption that providing jobs will inherently contribute to peace are more complex dynamics at work that prevent SMEs from growing to their full potential, and can create circumstances in which investments inadvertently contribute to conflict.


The overall purpose of this brief is to stimulate much-needed discussion on the role of SMEs in FCS through the lens of peace and conflict issues. With this objective in mind, the study seeks to explore five key questions:

  • What does the literature tell us about SMEs and their impact on peace and conflict dynamics?
  • What is the ‘landscape’ of SME facilities in FCS i.e., who is investing where, why and using which policies, tools and frameworks?
  • To what extent are SME facilities designed to suit the realities of investing in FCS?
  • What are some examples of the approaches and challenges faced by those supporting SMEs in FCS, and how have they overcome these challenges?
  • What do these findings tell us about how SME facilities can minimise their negative and maximise their positive impacts on peace and stability?



Contributors and disclaimer: This report expresses the views of TrustWorks Global and does not represent either the views of the Finance for Peace Initiative nor of those actors engaged for the purposes of this study.

License: This report is under copyright by TrustWorks Global. Users are permitted to use, reproduce, disseminate or display the article provided that the authors are attributed as the original creator and that the reuse is restricted to non-commercial purposes i.e. research or educational use.